How is it I'm back to this again?
Over three years ago, I gained 70 pounds in my first pregnancy.
5 weeks postpartum. Ugh. But the baby is cute.For someone who had always been fairly fit and was able to eat what I wanted this gain and body transformation was a shock for me. I struggled daily with how I looked and I also struggled with the fact that only I was to blame for the true and unhealthy amount I'd gained.
Skinny me. College years.Having struggled with weight and body issues in college, I made the commitment to myself and my family to go about this weight loss as healthy as possible. To come out of it a more positive human being, more comfortable in my skin and with who I was and am evolving into.
It took me over two years, but I finally blasted away the last of those 70 pounds. I celebrated by eating a cupcake.
70 pounds gone.Fast forward to now. With my second pregnancy, I wanted to enjoy myself, but in moderation. I vowed I would never gain 70 pounds again. I watched what I ate and made sure I was having my portions of fruits and veggies, but if I wanted Cheetos I had them. Heck. This is probably the only time in my life I'll ever be able to eat some of those things without feeling guilty. I enjoyed this second pregnancy considerably more than my first one. With my first one I felt so much pressure not to gain weight that I think my brain flip flopped on me and the result was intense comfort eating. With this pregnancy, I ate what I wanted in moderation and I worked out 3-4 times a week even if it was just a quick walk down a couple blocks and back.
Day before I delivered.With this last pregnancy, I probably gained 50 pounds. I lost 10 right away and am now concentrating on the last 40 with Weight Watchers and working out--even if its only for 20 minutes a day (two kids makes gym time a little harder).
Even though I still have extra weight, I will say I'm more confident about how I feel with myself now than after my first pregnancy. I understand that what I look like now is only temporary, and I'm determined to get back to my pre-weight by Christmas. This is exactly six months after baby and I think is a realistic goal for me to set.
With that said, I would like to point out this article.
I've always been frustrated with Hollywood's portrayal of what is beautiful and what is normal. It is not normal for new mom's to be super skinny and fit so quickly. Yes, some women just have that metabolism that kicks into overdrive, but I think the majority of the world does not.
Hollywood, however, makes new moms feel guilty for being a bit soft or curvy or for carrying a extra few pounds around the middle, leg, arm or bust areas.
I will admit, I have looked at pictures of new Hollywood moms and felt absolutely horrible about myself. At two month, most new mom's are just starting to feel semi-normal. The boobs have maybe stopped hurting, bodies might have adjusted to 2-3 hour intervals of sleep, and having spit up on shoulders is as common as brushing your teeth each morning. For the majority of Hollywood moms, two months or less after having a baby means putting on that bikini or super skin tight dress and prancing around for the paparazzi.
I still don't even want to be near a camera yet.
Do these women feel so insignificant in the world of ever changing headliners that they must validate their existence in the form of weight loss? Is this why we always see weight loss as such a positive thing? To validate our existence?
The portrayal of women and how women "should" look in today's society is completely distorted. If you think about it, Hollywood and models account for, what? Like 1% of the entire world population? Are we, as women and men alike going to base how our society looks and acts on that minority?
Is being skinny really all that beautiful?
Perhaps sometimes we feel so much pressure to be skinny and perfect as portrayed by the vapid lives of Hollywood "stars" that it flips flops our mental states and leads to overeating. Perhaps that is why we deal with obesity in our country. We don't have overly positive images of healthy women to inspire and guide us.
Yes, after having a baby, we want to feel normal again. We want to feel pretty and basically we want to feel and look how we did before we were pregnant. For months our bodies were not our own, but rather an incubator for your new little bundle of joy. It's job was to gain weight and be healthy for the baby. As new mothers, our bodies just went through a massive journey where we produced a new life. It took us 9 months to grow that baby and its going to take time to get it off. I am happy to see new moms like Jessica Simpson and Hilary Duff embracing their new curves and refusing to bow down to the pressures of Hollywood.
Being a mother is a beautiful thing. Enjoy it.
Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your baby. Focus on being healthy.